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Publication numberUS6188540 B1
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 09/107,889
Publication dateFeb 13, 2001
Filing dateJun 30, 1998
Priority dateSep 2, 1997
Fee statusPaid
Publication number09107889, 107889, US 6188540 B1, US 6188540B1, US-B1-6188540, US6188540 B1, US6188540B1
InventorsKah Liang Gan, Beng Wee Quak, Kok Hoe Chia, Chee Wai Lum
Original AssigneeSeagate Technology Llc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
System, method, and device for a regenerative constant velocity park for voice coil motor
US 6188540 B1
Abstract
A system, method, and device for moving a plurality of heads in a disk drive is disclosed. The system comprises hard disks, read/write heads for reading from or writing to the hard disks, a voice coil motor for moving the plurality of heads, a voice coil motor driver for energizing the voice coil motor, a voltage clamp device for regulating a voltage across the voice coil motor, and a park voltage source. The voltage clamp device comprises a transistor, a switch, and a resistive divider network. During head parking, a park voltage source activates the voltage clamp device, which clamps the voltage across the voice coil motor to a fixed value, resulting in movement of the voice coil and heads towards a park location with fixed velocity.
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Claims(16)
We claim:
1. A system for moving a plurality of heads in a disk drive, the system comprising:
a plurality of disks for storing data;
a plurality of heads for reading data from or writing data to the disks;
a voice coil motor for moving the plurality of heads, the voice coil motor having a voice coil with a first end and a second end;
a voice coil motor driver for providing a voltage across the voice coil during read/write operations, wherein the voice coil motor driver is coupled to both the first end and the second end of the voice coil;
a voltage clamp device for providing a generally constant voltage across the voice coil during head parking, wherein the voltage clamp device is coupled to the first end of the voice coil;
a park voltage source for energizing the voltage clamp device; and
a park voltage resistive network for coupling the park voltage source to the voltage clamp device, wherein a first end of the park voltage resistive network is coupled to the park voltage source, and a second end of the park voltage resistive network is coupled to the voltage clamp device;
wherein the voltage clamp device comprises:
a device input terminal for receiving a time varying voltage;
a device output terminal for providing a generally constant voltage signal;
a voltage divider having an input terminal coupled to the device input terminal and an output terminal for providing a time varying control voltage;
a first transistor having a clamp terminal coupled to the device output terminal, a control terminal coupled to the voltage divider output terminal, and a reference terminal coupled to a voltage reference; and
a switch coupled between the device input terminal and the device output terminal for enabling the first transistor.
2. The system of claim 1, wherein the voice coil motor driver comprises a first driver coupled to the first end of the voice coil and a second driver coupled to the second end of the voice coil.
3. The system of claim 1, wherein the park voltage source comprises a storage capacitor.
4. The system of claim 1, wherein the park voltage source comprises a spindle motor.
5. The system of claim 1, wherein the voltage divider further comprises:
a first resistive network coupled between the voltage divider input terminal and the voltage divider output terminal;
a voltage divider reference terminal coupled to a voltage reference; and
a second resistive network coupled between the voltage divider output terminal and the voltage divider reference terminal.
6. The system of claim 1, wherein the control terminal of the first transistor is replaced by a base terminal, the clamp terminal of the first transistor is replaced by a collector terminal, and the reference terminal of the first transistor is replaced by an emitter terminal.
7. The system of claim 1, wherein the switch comprises a diode with an anode terminal coupled to the device input terminal and a cathode terminal coupled to the device output terminal.
8. The system of claim 1, wherein the switch comprises:
a second transistor having a collector terminal coupled to the device input terminal, a base terminal, and an emitter terminal coupled to the device output terminal; and
a third resistor having a first end coupled to the collector terminal of the second transistor and a second end coupled to the base terminal of the second transistor.
9. A method for moving a plurality of heads in a disk drive, the method comprising:
applying a voltage across a voice coil motor with a voice coil motor driver during read/write operations;
applying a generally constant voltage across the voice coil motor with a voltage clamp device during head parking;
moving a voice coil within the voice coil motor as a result of the voltage across the voice coil motor; and
moving the heads as a result of movement of the voice coil;
wherein the step of applying a generally constant voltage across a voice coil motor with the voltage clamp device during head parking further comprises the steps of:
applying a time-varying input voltage from the park voltage source to the voltage clamp device,
closing a switch with the time-varying input voltage,
flowing current through the closed switch to a clamp terminal of a first transistor,
dividing down the time-varying input voltage with a voltage divider,
activating a control terminal of the first transistor with the divided-down time-varying input voltage;
flowing a time-varying amount of current from the clamp terminal of the first transistor to a reference terminal of the first transistor, the amount dependent on the divided-down time-varying input voltage appearing at the control terminal of the first transistor;
forcing a generally constant voltage to develop at the clamp terminal of the first transistor by varying the amount of current flowing from the clamp terminal of the first transistor to the reference terminal of the first transistor in response to changes in the time-varying input voltage; and
applying the generally constant voltage at the clamp terminal to the voice coil motor.
10. The method of claim 9, wherein the step of applying a voltage across a voice coil motor with a voice coil motor driver during read/write operations further comprises the steps of:
configuring a first driver coupled to a first end of the voice coil motor to be either a current source or sink;
configuring a second driver coupled to a second end of the voice coil motor to be either a current sink or source, wherein the first and second drivers are never simultaneously both current sinks or sources; and
sequencing the configuration of the first and second drivers such that they produce a voltage across the voice coil motor.
11. The method of claim 9, wherein the step of moving a voice coil within the voice coil motor as a result of the voltage across the voice coil motor further comprises:
magnetizing the voice coil by applying a voltage across the voice coil motor;
creating forces of attraction or repulsion between the voice coil and a fixed permanent magnet within the voice coil motor by magnetizing the voice coil; and
moving the voice coil in relation to the fixed permanent magnet due to the forces of attraction and repulsion between the magnetized voice coil and the fixed permanent magnet.
12. The method of claim 9, wherein the step of moving the heads as a result of the movement of the voice coil motor further comprises:
fixedly attaching the heads to a voice coil located within the voice coil motor such that the heads move in concert with movement of the voice coil.
13. A voltage clamp device for providing a constant voltage across a voice coil motor during head parking, the voltage clamp device comprising:
a device input terminal for receiving a time varying voltage;
a device output terminal for providing a generally constant voltage signal;
a voltage divider having an input terminal coupled to the device input terminal and an output terminal for providing a time varying control voltage;
a first transistor having a clamp terminal coupled to the device output terminal, a control terminal coupled to the voltage divider output terminal, and a reference terminal coupled to a voltage reference; and
a switch coupled between the device input terminal and the device output terminal for enabling the first transistor.
14. The voltage clamp device of claim 13, wherein the control terminal of the first transistor is replaced by a base terminal, the clamp terminal of the first transistor is replaced by a collector terminal, and the reference terminal of the first transistor is replaced by an emitter terminal.
15. The voltage clamp device of claim 13, wherein the switch comprises a diode with an anode terminal coupled to the device input terminal and a cathode terminal coupled to the device output terminal.
16. The voltage clamp device of claim 14, wherein the switch comprises:
a second transistor having a collector terminal coupled to the device input terminal, a base terminal, and an emitter terminal coupled to the device output terminal; and
a third resistor having a first end coupled to the collector terminal of the second transistor and a second end coupled to the base terminal of the second transistor.
Description
RELATED APPLICATIONS

Embodiments of this invention relate to Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/056,023, filed Sep. 2, 1997. The contents of that application are incorporated by reference herein.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

Embodiments of this invention relate generally to disk drives of the type generally used for storing digital data, and in particular to methods and devices for parking the heads used in a disk drive at a constant velocity, and disk drive systems incorporating the same.

2. Description of Related Art

Modern computers require media in which digital data can be quickly stored and retrieved. Magnetizable (hard) layers on disks have proven to be a reliable media for fast and accurate data storage and retrieval. Disk drives that store and retrieve data from hard disks have thus become popular components of computer systems.

FIG. 1 illustrates a conventional disk drive system that could be used to implement embodiments of the present invention. FIG. 1 shows a disk drive system 2 comprising a disk drive microprocessor 4, control logic 6, voice coil motor driver 8, voice coil motor 10, head assembly 12, read/write heads 14, hard disks 16, spindle motor 18, and spindle motor drivers 20. In operation, a computer 22 communicates through controller 24 with the disk drive microprocessor 4. In response to commands from the controller 24, the disk drive microprocessor 4, by means of control logic 6, activates voice coil motor driver 8. The voice coil motor driver 8 energizes the voice coil motor 10 to position the head assembly 12 and read/write heads 14 over specific track locations on the hard disks 16, which are rotating at a substantially constant velocity under the impetus of the spindle motor 18 and spindle motor drivers 20. Once the read/write heads 14 have stabilized over the appropriate tracks, the read/write heads 14 can read data from, or write data to, the hard disks 16.

Those skilled in the art will recognize that the disk drive system 2 of FIG. 1 is not intended to limit embodiments of the present invention. Indeed, those skilled in the art will recognize that alternative hardware configurations may be used without departing from the scope of the present invention.

In typical disk drive systems, the hard disks rotate at high velocities and read/write heads are positioned over the hard disks with very little air gap separation. In this configuration, read/write head contact with the hard disks (a head crash) can be catastrophic. Data can be permanently lost, or the read/write heads or hard disks can be damaged such that the entire disk drive system no longer functions. Therefore, modern disk drive systems avoid head contact with the hard disks as much as possible. To minimize read/write head contact with the hard disks, many disk drives park their read/write heads when the disk drive system is powered down so that the read/write heads rest over a parking zone (an area on the hard disks where no data is stored, typically the innermost central region of the disks) instead of an area used for storing data. The use of a parking zone minimizes wear on the recording area of the disks and thus increases the reliability of the disk drive system and the integrity of the stored data. Head parking circuitry activates when the disk drive system is being powered down or when the hard disks temporarily stop spinning. Such circuitry energizes the voice coil motor and moves the read/write heads to the parked position on the hard disks.

FIG. 2 illustrates a conventional head positioning system that includes a head parking system. Under normal operating conditions where data is being written to or read from the hard disks, a voice coil motor driver 8, consisting of a first driver 8 a and a second driver 8 b, produces a current flow through a voice coil motor 10. This current flow magnetizes a voice coil 10 a, and causes the voice coil 10 a to push or pull on a fixed permanent magnet 10 b surrounding the voice coil 10 a. These forces of repulsion or attraction cause the voice coil 10 a to move in relation to the fixed permanent magnet 10 b. Because the voice coil 10 a is fixedly attached to the read/write heads 14 through the head assembly 12, movement of the voice coil 10 a results in movement of the read/write heads 14 in relation to the hard disks 16.

Activation of the parking circuitry is triggered by the application of a park voltage source 26 to the voice coil motor 10 through a park voltage resistive network 28. The park voltage source 26 is typically generated by stored energy in the spindle motor 18 or a storage capacitor 18 a When the park voltage source 26 is applied, a constant current is sourced through the voice coil motor 10, which magnetizes the voice coil 10 a and results in movement of the voice coil 10 a and fixedly attached read/write heads 14 towards the park position.

However, the constant current provided by the park voltage source 26 causes the read/write heads 14 to accelerate towards the park position, creating high gravitational forces and mechanical stress on the head assembly 12. Acceleration of the head assembly 12 and gravitational forces can be minimized if the read/write heads 14 are parked at a constant velocity. Constant velocity parking will drastically reduce the chance of head slap (heads slapping on the disc) and resultant media defects.

One proposed way of parking read/write heads at a constant velocity is disclosed in the Carobolante patent (U.S. Pat. No. 5,566,369), incorporated herein by reference, which uses a feedback loop comprised of an active component (op amp) and resistors to maintain a constant voltage across the voice coil. In Carobolante, knowledge of the resistive component of the voice coil is necessary to select proper resistor values.

SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

Therefore, it is an object of embodiments of the invention to provide a system, method, or device for parking the read/write heads in a disk drive system at a constant velocity.

It is a further object of preferred embodiments of the invention to provide a system, method, or device for parking the read/write heads in a disk drive system at a constant velocity, wherein the system, method, or device is adjustable so that the optimum park velocity can be selected.

It is a further object of preferred embodiments of the invention to provide a system, method, or device for parking the read/write heads in a disk drive system at a constant velocity which avoids the use of active feedback and the necessity of knowing the resistivity of the voice coil.

These and other objects are accomplished according to a system for moving a plurality of heads in a disk drive, wherein the system is comprised of (1) hard disks, (2) a plurality of heads for reading from or writing to the hard disks, (3) a voice coil motor for moving the plurality of heads, (4) a voice coil motor driver for energizing the voice coil motor and moving the heads during normal read/write operations, (5) a voltage clamp device for regulating the voltage across the voice coil motor and moving the heads with constant velocity during head parking, and (6) a park voltage source for energizing the voltage clamp device through a park voltage resistive network during head parking. The voltage clamp device is further comprised of (1) a first transistor for providing a constant voltage at the output of the voltage clamp device, (2) a switch for providing current to the first transistor, and (3) a voltage divider for dividing down the input voltage to the voltage clamp device and turning on the first transistor.

These and other objects, features, and advantages of embodiments of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description of embodiments of the invention, when read with the drawings and appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a conventional disk drive system.

FIG. 2 is a symbolic diagram of a conventional head positioning system that includes a head parking system.

FIG. 3 is a symbolic diagram of a system for parking the heads of a disk drive with constant velocity.

FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram of an embodiment of a voltage clamp device for parking the heads of a disk drive with constant velocity.

FIG. 5 is a schematic drawing of a preferred embodiment of a voltage clamp device using matched transistors for parking the heads of a disk drive with constant velocity.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

In the following description of preferred embodiments, reference is made to the accompanying drawings which form a part hereof, and in which is shown by way of illustration specific embodiments in which the invention may be practiced. It is to be understood that other embodiments may be utilized and structural changes may be made without departing from the scope of the preferred embodiments of the present invention.

Modern computers require a media in which digital data can be quickly stored and retrieved. Magnetizable (hard) disks have proven to be a reliable media for fast and accurate data storage and retrieval. Disk drives that store and retrieve data from hard disks have thus become popular components of computer systems.

To minimize the dangers of read/write head contact with hard disks, many disk drives park their read/write heads when the disk drive system is powered down. However, when a park voltage from a head parking circuit is applied, the constant current sourced through the voice coil motor results in acceleration of the read/write heads and high gravitational forces, causing mechanical stress on the head assembly. Acceleration of the head assembly and resultant gravitational forces can be minimized if the read/write heads are parked at a constant velocity. Thus, preferred embodiments of the present invention relate to a system, method, and device for parking the read/write heads in a disk drive at a constant velocity.

A system for parking the heads of a disk drive with constant velocity according to an embodiment of the invention is shown in FIG. 3. Referring to FIG. 3, the constant velocity head parking system comprises hard disks 16, read/write heads 14, head assembly 12, a voice coil motor 10, a voice coil motor driver 8, a voltage clamp device 30, a park voltage resistive network 28, and a park voltage source 26.

The voltage clamp device 30 comprises an input terminal 44, an output terminal 39, a first transistor 32, a switch 34, and a voltage divider 37. The first transistor 32 comprises a clamp terminal coupled to the voltage clamp device output terminal 39, a reference terminal coupled to a voltage reference 40 (for example, ground), and a control terminal. The switch 34 is coupled between the voltage clamp device input terminal 44 and the voltage clamp device output terminal 39. The voltage divider 37 has an input terminal coupled to the voltage clamp device input terminal 44 and an output terminal coupled to the control terminal of the first transistor 32.

The voice coil motor 10 contains a voice coil 10 a nested within a fixed permanent magnet 10 b. Under normal operating conditions where information is being written to or read from the hard disks 16, the voice coil motor 10 is energized by a voice coil motor driver 8 that contains, in preferred embodiments, a first driver 8 a and a second driver 8 b. During these normal read/write operations, the first driver 8 a and second driver 8 b are configured by control logic (not shown) to produce a current flow through the voice coil motor 10. This current flow magnetizes the voice coil 10 a within the voice coil motor 10 and causes the voice coil 10 a to push or pull on the fixed permanent magnet 10 b. These forces of repulsion or attraction cause the voice coil 10 a to move in relation to the permanent fixed magnet 10 b. Because the voice coil 10 a is fixedly attached to the read/write heads 14, movement of the voice coil 10 a results in movement of the heads 14 in relation to the hard disks 16. By properly sequencing the configuration of first driver 8 a and second driver 8 b, the read/write heads 14 can be moved from one track to another on the hard disks 16.

Under power-down conditions when the read/write heads 14 are to be parked, a park voltage source 26 typically generated by stored energy in the spindle motor 18 or a storage capacitor 18 a is applied by the closing of a switch (not shown in FIG. 3) to the input terminal 44 of the voltage clamp device 30 through the park voltage resistive network 28. The voltage at the voltage clamp device input terminal 44 closes the switch 34 and allows current to flow through the closed switch 34 to the clamp terminal of the first transistor 32. The voltage at the voltage clamp device input terminal 44 is also divided down with the voltage divider 37. The divided-down voltage at the voltage divider output terminal activates the control terminal of the first transistor 32 and allows a regulated amount of current to flow from the clamp terminal to the reference terminal of the first transistor 32. Because of this current, a voltage develops across the clamp and reference terminals of the first transistor 32 and also at the voltage clamp device output terminal 39. This voltage remains generally constant even though the voltage at the voltage clamp device input terminal 44 varies, because the voltage divider 37 compensates for voltage changes at the voltage clamp device input terminal 44 by changing the amount of current flowing from the clamp terminal to the reference terminal of the first transistor 32. This constant voltage is then applied to the voice coil motor 10.

The constant voltage across the voice coil motor 10 produces a current flow through the voice coil 10 a that magnetizes the voice coil 10 a and causes the voice coil 10 a to push or pull on the fixed permanent magnet 10 b. These forces of repulsion or attraction cause the voice coil 10 a to move with constant velocity in relation to the permanent fixed magnet 10 b, and also cause the read/write heads 14 to move with constant velocity in relation to the hard disks 16 toward the park position.

In an embodiment of a voltage clamp device 30 for parking the read/write heads 14 of a disk drive with constant velocity shown in FIG. 4, the switch 34 and voltage divider 37 of FIG. 3 have been replaced by a diode 34, first resistor 36, and a second resistor 38 connected at one end to a voltage reference 40. The clamp, control, and reference terminals of the transistor 32 of FIG. 3 have also been replaced by collector, base, and emitter terminals, respectively. When a voltage V44 is applied to the input terminal 44 of the voltage clamp device 30, the voltage V44 forward-biases the diode 34. The first resistor 36 and second resistor 38 act as a voltage divider such that a voltage V46 appears at node 46 and is approximately equal to V44(R38/(R36+R38)), where R36 is the resistance of the first resistor 36 and R38 is the resistance of the second resistor 38. As FIG. 4 illustrates, V46 is also equal to VBE1, the voltage across the base and emitter terminals of the first transistor 32. A sufficiently large VBE1 will forward-bias the base-emitter junction 42 of the first transistor 32, turning on first transistor 32 and allowing increased current to flow from the collector terminal to the emitter terminal of first transistor 32.

The voltage (identified as VCE1) that develops across the collector and emitter terminals of first transistor 32 is equal to V44−VD, where VD is the voltage drop across the diode 34. Thus, V44=VCE1+VD. Because VBE1=V44(R38/(R36+R38)) as noted in the paragraph above, by manipulating the equation it is also true that

VBE1=(VCE1+VD)(R38/(R36+R38))

and

VCE1=VBE1((R36+R38)/R38)−VD.

In preferred embodiments, the diode 34 and first transistor 32 are selected such that VD is approximately equal to VBE1, and thus VCE1=VBE1(R36/R38). Because VBE1 is constant at approximately 0.6V when the base-emitter junction 42 is forward-biased during parking, VCE1 is also constant during parking and is dependent only on the ratio of R36 to R38.

When the voltage clamp device 30 is part of the constant velocity head parking system of FIG. 3, during parking VCE1 appears at the voltage clamp device output terminal 39 and across the voice coil 10 a, and acts as a clamp voltage for the voice coil 10 a. This constant voltage across the voice coil 10 a moves both the voice coil 10 a and the read/write heads 14 with constant velocity, minimal acceleration, and low gravitational forces, minimizing the mechanical stress on the heads 14 during parking.

The clamp voltage (VCE1) is directly proportional to the velocity at which the voice coil 10 a moves such that VCE1=k*VelVC, where k is a constant and VelVC is the velocity of the voice coil 10 a. Therefore, the clamp voltage (VCE1) can be adjusted to achieve a target park velocity by choosing R36 and R38 according to the formula VCE1=VBE1(R36/R38).

The above description assumes that in preferred embodiments, VD=VBE1. Differences in the value of VD and VBE1 due to design or manufacturing differences between the diode 34 and first transistor 32 used in such preferred embodiments will result in a deviation between the target park velocity and the actual park velocity. An alternative preferred embodiment of the present invention, illustrated in FIG. 5, minimizes these differences and hence the error between the target park velocity and the actual park velocity.

The preferred embodiment of a voltage clamp device 30 for parking the read/write heads 14 of a disk drive with constant velocity shown in FIG. 5 is identical to that of FIG. 4, except that the diode 34 of FIG. 4 has been replaced by a second transistor 48 and third resistor 50 in FIG. 4. The second transistor 48 has an collector terminal coupled to the first end of the first resistor 36 and a first end of the third resistor 50, a base terminal coupled to a second end of the third resistor 50, and an emitter terminal coupled to the collector terminal of the first transistor 32.

In the preferred embodiment of FIG. 5, the second transistor 48 is chosen to have a design and fabrication process similar to the first transistor 32. When a voltage V44 is applied to the input terminal 44 of the voltage clamp device 30, the voltage V44 forward-biases a base-emitter junction 52 of the second transistor 48. The third resistor 50 limits the current flowing into the base terminal of the second transistor 48 to a safe value. The voltage (identified as VCE2) across the collector and emitter terminals of second transistor 48 is approximately equal to the voltage (identified as VBE2) across the base-emitter junction 52 of the second transistor 48. This approximation (VCE2=VBE2) can be made due to the small amount of current flowing through the third resistor 50 and into the base terminal of the second transistor 48. Because VBE2=VBE1 due to the closely matched properties of the first transistor 32 and second transistor 48, it is also true that VCE2=VBE1. By substituting VCE2 for VD and making the assumption that VCE2=VBE1 in the equations associated with FIG. 4, the equation VCE1=VBE1(R36/R38) is again derived for FIG. 5.

Therefore, as in FIG. 4, the clamp voltage (VCE1) in FIG. 5 can be adjusted to achieve a target park velocity by choosing R36 and R38 according to the formula VCE1=VBE1(R36/R38). However, the preferred embodiment of FIG. 5 will generally be able to produce a more accurate park velocity than the embodiment of FIG. 4 because of the matched properties of the first transistor 32 and second transistor 48.

The foregoing description of preferred embodiments of the invention has been presented for the purposes of illustration and description. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed. Many modifications and variations are possible in light of the above teaching. It is intended that the scope of the invention be limited not by this detailed description, but rather by the claims appended hereto.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3705333 *Feb 9, 1972Dec 5, 1972IbmAdjustable active clamp circuit for high speed solenoid operation
US4306117 *Jan 28, 1980Dec 15, 1981Sava JacobsonRemote recording of new outgoing announcement in a telephone answering device
US4831469 *Jul 29, 1987May 16, 1989International Business Machines CorporationDisk drive head retract and motor braking method and apparatus
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6870701 *Jul 13, 2001Mar 22, 2005Rohm Co., Ltd.Motor driving device and disk device
US7902778 *Jun 6, 2007Mar 8, 2011Texas Instruments IncorporatedProgrammable constant voltage retract of disk drive actuator
Classifications
U.S. Classification360/78.04, 360/69, G9B/5.216, G9B/21.021, G9B/5.192
International ClassificationG11B5/596, G11B21/12, G11B5/55
Cooperative ClassificationG11B5/596, G11B21/12, G11B5/5547
European ClassificationG11B5/55D1D2, G11B5/596, G11B21/12
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